31st January 2013 - Introduction

1 March 2013 by Angela Taylor

Welcome to our blog! For the past year we've been building a new radio telescope receiver to form part of a new radio telescope in South Africa. All the building so far has been done in our labs in Oxford, but in the next few weeks we'll be ready to take it out to its new home at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Observatory, near Johannesburg in South Africa. We thought it might be interesting to write a blog about what we are up to - so here we go.

The experiment we are working on is called the 'C-Band All Sky Survey' (C-BASS) and the plan is to make a map of the whole sky in intensity and polarization at a frequency of 5GHz (that's 6cm wavelength and called C-Band by radio astronomers). To make a map of the whole sky we need two telescopes - one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere. We've already got one telescope working in California - that's called C-BASS North - and the one we're going to try and blog about here is the southern hemisphere one, called C-BASS South.

C-BASS North in Owen's Valley, California,USA C-BASS South dish, Hartebeesthoek Radio Observatory, South Africa: our new receiver will go on this dish

During our coming reports, we'll try and write some bits and pieces explaining more about radio astronomy and radio telescopes and also about what we are trying to do with C-BASS, but for now here's what we've been up to in the final days of testing in Oxford.